Brazilian police arrest 10 suspected of planning terrorist acts during Olympics

Posted at 12:10 PM, Jul 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-21 12:10:02-04

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian police have arrested 10 people suspected of planning terrorist acts during the Olympics, Brazil’s Justice Ministry said Thursday.

The group was inspired by ISIS and only had contact with the group online, Justice Minister Alexandre de Moraes said.

He said no specific targets were mentioned, but the Justice Ministry is still investigating the suspects’ computers and cell phones to learn more about the plans. De Moraes said the suspects are all Brazilian nationals, and that one minor was mentioned in the conversations.

De Moraes said the group was “not an organized cell.”

Another two suspects have warrants out for their arrests. Authorities said they believe those two people will be arrested soon.

This week, Brazil’s intelligence agency said it was reviewing all threats against the Rio 2016 Games after a jihadi messaging channel called for its followers to target the Olympics.

“Many [threats] are discarded and the ones that deserve attention are investigated exhaustively,” the agency said.

Earlier this week, a jihadi channel on the messaging app Telegram called for attacks against the Games and detailed targets and methods, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.

SITE said a message was posted to “Inspire the Believers!” saying, “Lone wolf from anywhere in the world can move to Brazil now.”

The message also suggested using the Games to target the enemies of jihad, including Western athletes.